Saturday 14 April 2012

Tom Theophilus and the Independents

As this blog suggested a few days ago, Mr Tom Theophilus, Independent councillor for Cilycwm ward, has been running an extraordinarily negative campaign. Now it turns out that he has also been claiming to have the support of Plaid Cymru in his fight to retain his seat on the council (see Caebrwyn's blog here for more details).

These claims have come as news to Plaid, a source has told Y Cneifiwr, and a statement is expected later.

The problem for voters in getting to the truth extends far beyond the confines of Cilycwm ward, however.

Cllr Pam Palmer, who along with Council Leader Meryl Gravell leads the "offiicial" Independent group which has been running the council with Labour since 2004, told the Carmarthen Journal last week (here) that, "we have never had so many Independents standing".

What is true about that statement is that a large number of people are standing as independent candidates, although a good many of them are standing against Mrs Palmer and her colleagues and would never join her group. Jacqui Thompson in Cilycwm ward is just one example. How many of the "independents" support Mrs Palmer and her group is quite another matter.

We don't know, and she won't tell us.

Officially the Independent group is not a political party, and it does not stand for election as a group. It does not publish a manifesto, so voters cannot know what their plans are for the next five years. It does not even tell us which candidates are part of the "official" Independent group.

However, it seems pretty obvious from Mrs Palmer's remarks that she knows which candidates are "in" and which are not,

"We have our eye on every seat that we fight and we will do our best to put up candidates and get them elected."

The "we" bit gives the game away. "We" know who is on our side, but we are not going to tell you, the voters, who they are, and we are not going to tell you what we will do if we are elected.

Unless you know your local independent candidate personally and can trust them, voting for an independent if you are unhappy with the way the county council has been run is a bit like Russian roulette.


Anonymous said...

an independent could be a candidate who has been kicked out from their party or left their party because of some disagreement or simply cannot get along with their fellow ex members..

then again i have some labour candidates who just do what they please and often out of touch whether on town or county level. giving them the impression that they are independent but keep the party level.

as for the rest of the independents, independent from what? is an independent masquaerading as a labour or plaid and should really be presenting themselves as the party they belong to. it works both ways.

the independents were born out of frustration in 2002. they could be communists that disagreed totally with new labour or just got fed up with the way labour in wales was going with alun michael, blair's poodle.

maybe the independents ought to form their own party so everybody knows what they are getting.

independent means just about anything. belonging to no party witout portfolio and no affiliation.

very rare there is a true independent who works at a level for the common good of all with no strings attached.
an independent could mean neither master nor servant. it's very hard to be a representative for all creeds as most have the power of the top in their agenda and stuff the rest. who would a councillor favour most? the rich and power or the weak and poor? obviously a true labour supporter has the interests of the poor in mind but how can they cater for business at the same time? some level could be achieved from either end as the firstmost thoughts are employment. labour would be desperate for employment for the poor and the hierachy would be prioritising employment from the owner's perspective.

there is more to carmarthenshire than employment. education, social services etc.
working for carmarthenshire - at a price.

why can't the independents have their party next to their title? are they ashamed of their party?

breakaways. non affiliation. or totally independent. there aren't many ways to describe an independent.
it can have it's benefits just as easily as it can have it's chaos and fragmentations.

i asked plaid who do you really represent. are you a workers party? do you have the workers interests at heart?
now with a change with leadership with them, it is easy to see now through leanne wood's persona. at first i thought they voted the wrong leader in. two different personas, one far forward and rebellious who wasn't afraid of admitting it in her inaugral speech. and the other reserved.

as i see now, plaid maybe on the leanne wood bandwagon. some maybe cautious.

and maybe some plaid are independents. sometiimes an independent work at a level one stop short of the mainstream, other independents may well be operating at a higher level than their own party level is at.

you are correct in saying that unless you know the independent candidate personally at a high level and have a form of trust, you know what the agenda is.
sometimes some labour voters are up in arms with what their labour candidate does. other labour voters don't say anything because they don't want to upset anybody and be labelled as atrouble making if they dared to question. suddenly you're not their friend anymore. that can apply to plaid too.

is independent real or a mask? (anon2)

Anonymous said...

today another plaid candidate for a town council ward didn't want to discuss matters regarding what is on the candidates leaflet. oh i'm busy. oh well, sod the lot of them. (anon2)..

talking of plaid, one local councillor was having some criticism fromt eh windfarm company. the spokesman said councillor price is yet wrong again (as in today's sw guardian).

from what i can see, the councillor is absolutely correct, and it was the windfarm company who who giving out misleading information. why? because the contractors were caught redhanded. and i've got the evidence.

so, how has this evolved into today's local paper? lack of communication. that particular ward does seem to want to involve outside people. that seems a bit strange because also in the swg is another story when the ward were criticizing ammanford council regarding the zebra crossing they want and the non-replies. the thing is, i have already brought it to their attention that there is not going to be a zebra crossing at the roundabout. and besides that, there are two crossing points there anyway. the original story is in the swg - crossing needed for lidl foundry road.

anyway, as the local councillors are not that good regarding the windfarm, and as they cannot see the windfarm from where they are, and seem to be a bit naive, i think it will be rather a good idea to sort out their problems because they had better get their arses into gear because they are going to have one hell of a headache coming up regarding the windfarm community fund. then again that applies to all community councils.. and kevin madge is going to get one shock in the not so distant future. not because of how much they will actually getting but who is going to get it... oink oink aoolies when the windfarm dangled the carrot back in 2006 and sod has looked into it hoping the windfarm will pay for work need doing. clue is council owned bodies cannot apply for the grant. community parishes can but not is all that it seems. church groups etc can apply. a ciommunity hall can... but very unclear if a council owned community hall can. that kind of legal nonsense. (anon2)

Anonymous said...

i sincerely hope that other consituencies do not experience this kind of thing and do find their candidates approachable.
otherwise it is a pointless excercise.

you know what i am thinking? many plaid candidates are riding on the leanne wood wave, and asserting this new power. labour candidates are wary because of this threat.

more business people seem to have become candidates. take for example, the two main candidates for ammanford on the county side are plaid with a shoe shop owner, and the labour candidate corgi hosiery owner. on the town council side is a butcher in the town centre who's ward is slightly outside ammanford. so i don't quite grasp what he can do with parking charges because he has to concentrate his activities on his ward constituents. hope he hasn't become a councillor to boost his town centre. the other plaid is another factory owner. another plaid has a jewellery shop.

closely scrutinizing their leaflets, at first i thought they were penned by the same person as they all were saying exactly the same things.

the jewellry candidate who's potential ward is a mile or so away says he has real pride in ammanford and want to encourage a thriving community within the town once again.

the butcher says he can see the need for strong local representatives to make our town vibrant again

the shoe shop plaid county council candidate who's ward is quarter of a mile away from the town centre says ammanford needs new ideas and personalities to improve the town...we need to encourage investment and attract businesses and create employment in ammanford. we need to fight this recession and take ammanford back to its former glory. parking is unfair to businesses.

as business owners in the town, we have a deep rooted commitment to the town and the residents of ammanford.

the back page is plaid main party manifesto.

pity plaid didn't spell the constituency name right ;-)

Anonymous said...

just to clear up a small mtter, it is 50 pence for an hour to park. and that ticket is transferbale. says on the sign. 'still a bit pricey. if only an audit can take place to prove a point if people have been diddled or not to clear up the matter.

i know i've harped on about it before, and i'll keep on harping about it in the future.
why should a high quality carpark charge exactly the same as a lower quality one? something is not quite right in that thesis.

i still say in theory that all day parking should cost no more than 50p where it is currently £1.30.

a ticket purchased in llandeilo can be used later in the day if someone was in newcastle emly, or ammanford.. but they cannot use it in llanelli. i didn't see carmarthen on the sign.

if someone os doing a job such as a carer, they are not being charged 50p each time they pop in to do an errand, even though technically they should whether it's 50p or 20p because of the wear and tear factor. it's not even sure if the council are paying rates on land they own. if they don't own the land and lease it, maybe the charges are high because the rent has gone up? pause for thought...

i do share the sentiment with the llandovery councillor. if it goes up 10p next year, it'll just go on and on.. if they cut it by 10p, that would be a help, as people tend to react when there is bad news if it goes up 10p, sometimes a 10p cut doesn't have the same effect. just because a car that is parked all day does not cause any extra pressure to the surface, but a carparked all day maybe taking up a space where a council loses out on money because it maybe preventing other shorter term users from taking up that it won't be suprised if the council charged this on top of the current fees to compensate for a potential loss. one loophole could be someone buys a 50p hour's ticket and comes back 8 times a day to get the £1.30 all day parking. seems bit daft to do this as it takes time an effort to muck about like that. or the same actions by buying a 70p 2 hour ticket and move the car 4 times lol.

unless someone comes up with a perfect solution which is almost impossible to achieve as there is bound to be a loser somewhere along the lines and be an unfair disavdvantage.. then again a car parked for 4 hours could be preventing 4 one hour users and the council would be losing some revenue. once again probably this has been factored into the current charges.. so they may well be charging for something that there is no guarentee that someone will actually take up that space.

i would rather have one car parked there for a full one hour rather than have 4 cars coming and going every 15 minutes. that would wear down an inferior surface far quicker over ten years. 4 cars 50p at 30 mins each coming and going over two hours causes more wear and tear than a car parked for 90p.

if one car comes and goes for an hour it costs 50p, and if nobody else takes up that space, compare that to someone who pays £1.30 all day or 90p for 2 hours.. they are basically paying something for nothing... now that cannot be fair, can it? a business that operates on murphy's law. it's inevitable that parking charges are unfair in one way or another whichever way you look at it, whether it affects the driver or the shopkeeper who relies on people coming to town.

and if it is an important issue, they are going to have to sort it out once and for all...quickly or is it an issue that is going to be carried on that will end up as an electioneering tool everytime the parking charges go up?(anon 2)